tv Worldwide Exchange CNBC March 11, 2010 4:00am-6:00am EST
hitting a 60-month high spurring more talk of currency hiring. >> here in europe, bp pays for devon assets. >> here in the united states, new restrictions on hedge funds could tighten tensions in washington. >> hello and welcome to cnbc's "worldwide exchange." great news today, nicole is not in the states. >> here i am. >> we both have looked and each other has legs. >> it's very exciting. right. anyway, great to have you here. we're two hours into the trading day right now as far as europe is concerned. and markets are just nudging down a little bit. the ftse 100 down 0.3%. the xetra dax, cac 40 and smi all down slightly.
nicole was in the united states yesterday. >> we had a 19-month high of 1150. we had techs leading and financials leading, as well. dow futures look like they are down about 10 below fair value at this hour. nasdaq futures are slightly lower and s&p 500 futures are lower. christine, what are you guys sending out from asia? >> nicole, welcome to london, i should say here from singapore. let's get you out to singapore really soon and maybe we can have a chat and make ross really jealous. let's get a quick view of where asian markets have traded. markets managed to recover after those comments and data coming out from china which show inflation surging to a 16-month high. some of these markets managed to recover today. the nikkei 225 is up almost 1%. the stronger yen came weaker and that kind of helped out the
exporters in this particular market. we had revised gdp weaker than expected. elsewhere, the kospi lower by 0.3%. the bombay sensex up 0.2% and the aussie market down 0.2%. how is all of this affecting the ftse cnbc global 300 index? five points lower. 4,523. ross, i'm really jealous. back to you. >> christine, i wish you were here, with as well. then i would be the happy ftest man on the planet. nearly there, but drn. >> we're ross's angels, i think. >> let's get straight to one of our top stories. china has come out with data today showing the economy is flying on all cylinders. maura is in beijing and she has the details. maura. >> reporter: hey there, ross. ross's angels. i should quite like that a bit here. really staggering numbers today
coming out from the chinese economy regarding how quickly the economy has rebounded. on the inflation front, we saw cpi at a 16-month high here jumping 3.7% in the month of february. producer prices jumping higher than expected, 5.4%, and we also saw industrial production jumping 0.17%, higher than expected. what this all means is that the economy is recovering and firmly recovering and the government can now begin to slowly withdraw its stimulus. what it doesn't mean, though, is that the government is worried about inflation. and even though the markets have been worried about tightening here in china and about the inflation picture and about the economy overheating, authorities are not concerned. the central bank governor said, and i'm quoting here, is that inflation in china is going to be mild and controllable this year. premier wynn wen jiabao said
last week that he expects the inflation targets to be around that number. don't forget, too, we're coming off a lower base from 2009. so a couple things to think about when looking at the inflation picture here in china. also, how to rebalance the economy and what to do in the next five years is what legislators are talking about. when i talk about rebalancing the economy, if anything, they have learned a deep recession from 2008 and that is they cannot fly on exports alone. they know relying on the united states and on europe to fuel their economic growth is not sustainable in the long-term and they're looking for ways to balance that out by boosting domestic demand. we've got some evidence of that today in the terms of retail sales. for february, roughly in line with the january/february number, but they need to boost that and to do that, they're going to have to boost
urbanization living in the cities. christine, back to you. >> maura, thank you very much for that great stuff coming from beijing. joining us now with our guest host for the next hour is emil wolter. good to have you with us. you heard all this talk about chinese policy and inflation concerns. take a look at the markets today. do you think policy china is a little overdone? >> i don't think so. there's been a lot of talk and a lot of rhetoric. as always in china, you get more warning. if you look at the numbers, they continue to run at very elevated levels. so if anything, i must say i'm surprised the inflation numbers are not higher. so i supposed that has to do with the official number and acceptable number. so are you questioning the reliability of the data that's coming out? >> i wouldn't go that far.
but frankly, 2.7% would look like a low number. property prices are up 10.7% on their own estimates. minimum wages are being raised by more than 15%. obviously, food is going up in a rather rapid fashion, as well. 6% i believe is the official number. so on that basis, i would be very surprised if the real level of inflation is 277%. certainly, i would expect people's general expectations to be on an upwards trend. >> emil, i'm looking at in data and i'm thinking maybe it's quite good news for us in the west here. you've got strong exporters, retail sales in the first two months. i mean, in a sense, this is what the rest of the world wants. >> i think you're right, ross. i think generally speaking, we're at a point in the cycle now where the reason we are starting to talk about monetary
rising is because growth is now strong enough to support such an outlook. that for real people in the real world is quite good news. will we with recover all of the lost output in the west? probably not. but we're on a recovering path. i think that's confirmed by the data today, i agree. >> this is nicole in london today. is it also confirmed by stronger dollar? >> i think the dollar will be strong over the next few months. maybe even beyond that. but mainly because america as a country has started to delever. that is to say that total liabilities in america are now going down and that will be bullish for the dollar. >> very good. neal wolter, asian equities rbs. stay with us for the rest of the hour. we appreciate your time. let's get you some big stories we're following from around the
world meanwhile. treasury secretary timothy geithner is warning the eu decision to regulate trading would essentially curb the ability the u.s. and banks have to do business with banks and europe and vice versa. other areas could create compensation between borrowing. the congress oversight panel is criticizing the treasury department for the bailout of gmac. a move that could cost taxpayers $6.3 billion. the panel says while the automakers were forced into bankruptcy, gmac was treated more like bailed out banks that
didn't have to explain exactly what they were doing with their money, ross. >> yeah. just turning our attention to the oil markets, bp has agreed to pay $7 billion for assets and for devon industries. it includes assets off the coast of brazil, which is an area that bp has been interested in for quite some sometime. separately, bp and devon are going to form a venture in canada, as well. public and private sector units voice their anger over the latest austerity measures. athens international airport was left empty last night except for a few stranded passengers. the strike would be the second of its kind in many weeks. but i don't think there's any surprise we're going to get
these strikes. most people thought that was going to be the case. >> i would assume so, too, ross. fourth quarter economic revised growth for japan came down 3.8 perls from the previous reading of 4.6%. analysts warn economic growth could slow. the provision raises pressures on the bank of japan next week. the bank has to grapple with how to lift japan out of deflation. elsewhere looking at earnings, we're expecting results from a couple of blue championship companies. let's start with swire pacific. the conglomerate sees more positive prospects for this year and has recommended higher dividends for 2009. after the markets closed, we
have properties up 44% from a year ago. the property developer said 2010 is shaping up to be a good year for home prices and transactions in hong kong. ross. >> that's one place that is benefiting from the fed's low rates, all coming out in hong kong. still to come on today's program, it is all about retailers here in britain. some of the country's largest department stores and super markets are releasing earnings. >> here is a quick look at how oil is trading, though, as we go to break.
10-year yield. absolutely. 3.16%. smooth u.s. auctions fairly helping yesterday. treasuries today, 3.72%. treasuries went really well. ahead of the 30-year bond issue today, we have $30 billion in three-year notes auctioning. but so far, those auctions have gone fairly well. >> good to know that. as for the currency markets, we did see weakening yen. dollar down just again the yen, 90.41. euro/dollar, 1.3641. sterling continues to remain weak against the dollar, 1.4971. euro/sterling, 0.9113. nicole, with your dollar strength, what exactly would you buy in london right now? >> i have bought a coffee and that's about it. that's all i care for these days. ross and i ran around and tried to do some touristy things, but
i'll tell you, it's expensive. in the united states, we are looking ahead, though, to some key economic data today. u.s. investors get their first set of economic numbers this week. weekly jobless claims, christine, 8:30 in the new york time to a total of 460,000. at 8:30, january trade deficit numbers are released. the gap is expected to widen, $41 billion. bill dudley is also in london, the great americans are there week, apparently, to talk at an annual dinner at 3:35 in many new york time. vickram pandit will be speaking in new york at 12:15 p.m. he's expected to raise the prospect expect that the bank earning as much as $20 billion from its core business in the next few years, although he won't necessarily set specific targets, ross. but definitely, we will be watching. he always makes for interesting news and good sound bites.
>> absolutely. as far as european stock markets are concerned this morning, we're trying to put on -- we've got slim losses. down about 0.3% for the ftse 100. a little motor for the cac 40, a little let for the xetra dax. let's start off here in london with anna where retailer res focused. >> absolutely, the market is lower. but home retail is trading lower, up by around 2.2%. right now. the company is doing better than they had expected to do, so they're upgrading their guidance for the full year. that's putting a bit of a boost on the stocks. morrisons, on the other hand, a lot of expectation surrounding this number. this is the fourth largest grocery retailer in the uk. the stock is down after a strong run up. the results were at the top end of analyst expectations. like for like excludeing oil and tax. up by 6%, not a bad performance. they say they're going to continue to grow ahead of the
market. >> bp, we talked about it earlier. what is the market reaction to that? >> bp has been trading down in the early part of today's session here in london. i guess $7 billion u.s. is not all that much if you're bp. they're paying devon energy $7 billion for assets in brazil, the government, with mexico, some parts of eastern europe, as well. they're forming an oil sands joint venture with devon, as well. devon will be focusing on its onshore portion of the business. >> okay. anna, thanks very much indeed for that. the xetra dax is just down a smidgenon at the moment. patricia is in with details on the session. >> vw is now taking prime spot here, up about 1. % after the
announcement that we just heard from the company. and even commercial vehicles doing very good, indeed. and they booked some profits and ganya helping there. we have ciat in spain, that is down and that is in the loss territory. bentley is not doing too well. on the other hand, we did see a fantastic number from the group sales during the months of january and february. all in all, they say they can keep 2010 targets, eventually they will cross the 1 billion kind of market in the next two years by 2018 or later. kns was down 2.6% after good numbers, but a luke warm outlook. >> what about lufthansa,
patricia? >> at the beginning of the month, we had quite a few data coming through for 2009. and it is a net loss. better than expected, though. now they came through with details of what to expect for 2010 and 2011. they're being very luke warm as far as i can interpret. i'll be heading off to interview the cfo about lufthansa, about the ongoing strike situation, about how to get the business passengers back and how they see the recovery. how does it feel to them? they say they do see revenue growing in 2010. however, the speed of the recovery is definitely key. plus, also the fuel prices at the moment, we have oil above $82 per barrel. so that is going to be a couple of very important issues. margins, because of the pricing going on out there and also capacity. what about capacity? we heard from air berlin and now more or less the biggest competitor out here in the german market for lufthansa is going to increase capacity during the summer months. are they going to do that, too?
if yes, by how much? first of all, they're talking about dpeering and their own targets to reduce gearing to 40% and 60% this year. they call that ambitious. that to me sounds like don't expect too much, perhaps not even a dividend for 2010. but that's my interpretation, ross. >> that's a good one. over in paris, lacadera is in focus. stephane is with us. what are they saying about the recovery? >> it was the last company to report on the cac 40. but that was not the best report. the company posted a 77% decline of its net profits. the operating profit at the core media division is down 29% on the full year. apart from some emerging markets like china, russia and india, the company is targeting a 10%
decline of its operating profit for this year. also, the ceo of lagardere says the company will not keep its 7.5% in eads forever, but for the time being, there are no discussions about the sale of this stake. the company has a stake in ceenabruse. >> you no we're also looking at total, stephane. essentially more strikes coming out for them? >> here we go again, french people and streaking again. the main union of workers has called for strike action 24 hours on the 15th of april in order to protest against the plan to shut down some refineries in france. a couple of weeks ago, the company faced a week long strike because it was planning to shut down refineries in the north of friends. then total agreed not to shut
down any factory in the next several years, but it's looking for buyers and that's the main reason they called for a strike action. >> stephane pedrazzi, thank you very much for that. now back to our guest host, emil wolter. let's talk about the chinese renminbi. with this surge in inflation we saw, do you think the chinese authorities will consider or think about letting the yuan special? >> the obviously view is it will continue. what is your view? >> inflation is at a 16-month high, as you reported, it's officially only 2.6%. so that's still within the 3% boundary and might give them some room further before they act. >> what are some of the other
things? on the monetary side, we know there's the option to hike rates. how about the fiscal side, will that end later? >> it's an emerging discussion, the whole thing about emerging policy. trying to distinguish between what is the direct protection and what happens with regard to the direction of loans through the state on banks is not easy to do. but i think quite clearly, they've set a target this year to extend loans worth $7.5 trillion as opposed to 9.5 trillion last year, so that is indicating a gradual tightening, if you like, in the pace of growth. and i would expect that very much to be pursued further. i think there's a chance. if property prices will continue to go away, they will lower that target down from the 7.5. for the time being, they're not likely to do anything domestic. >> emil, how do you take all this and translate it into a domestic policy? well b inge i think the bottom line is this year is a game like
snake and ladders. it's going to be a volatile year. i think companies by and large fete feel upbeat about the prospects coming from a low base. but that positive side has to be balanced against an environment whereby some of this enormous amount of excess liquidity will be taken off the top, if you like, and interest rates will start normalizing themselves. so my view is actually this is going to be a year for fundamental stock figures. it's going to be a year where momentum investment and hanging on to the great trades of 2009 will not do particularly well and where we have to focus on transparency and visibility of earnings which leads me to things like telecoms, for example. >> what do you like about the telecom sector? >> they have large and steady cash flows and they pay me a decent dividend yield.
in a world where we think the markets will be volatile, we're likely to face tough times because of the strain on balance sheets and in asia because of inflation. i think a bit of stability has a home in every portfolio and certainly telcos do feel that role. >> did i tell you i hate snakes and ladders? >> i bet you like monopoly, though. >> oh, that's good. i like buying things. emil wolter, thank you. >> yeah. i like the green session, the region street, i prefer those to park place on monopoly. i always think you land on those ones more than you do than the ones at the end of the board. >> i bet ross cheats. >> oh, thank you so much. how do you cheat at monopoly?
my daughter cheats at snakes and ladders. still to come on "worldwide exchange," we're expecting numbers out after the break. >> right. and plus china's national people's congress, that meeting is heading into the final days of its annual session. we're live in beijing for the latest. stay with us here on "worldwide exchange."
welcome back to "worldwide exchange." the headlines today, here in asia, we're watching china. we have consumer inflation hitting a 16-month high in february spurring more talk of policy tightening. >> meanwhile here in europe, bp agrees to pay $7 billion in asset for devon energy. >> and treasury secretary tim geithner says tightening restrictions on hedge funds could in the united states. >> welcome to "worldwide exchange." i'm ross westgate with nicole lapin here in london. thanks for being here. >> you're welcome. thank you for having me. >> essentially we're where we have been for most of the this week, the ftse cnbc global 300 is just down three points.
what kind of day have you had in asia, christine? by the way, we wish you were here, as well. >> i'm with you in spirit. i'm there. i'm handlinging on behind you. do you feel it? >> yes. >> well, here in asia, ross and nicole, it is past 5:30 in the evening. let's get a quick view of where asian markets are trading. the nikkei 225 are managing to close higher, 1%. long in hong kong and shanghai, a lot of concerns about policy tightening. consumer inflation came in at a 16-month high. we have the kospi, south korea bank keeping rates unchanged. that seems to be not helping out the kospi. the bombay sensex is trading up 0.2% and the aussie market down 0.1%. nicole, i hope you're having fun in london, by the way. >> i am, indeed. you'll have to give me a left of
the things i can pick up for you. i am nicole lapin. let's take a look at how things are doing across the board. in a narrow range, dow futures are slightly down, narrowing just in the last half hour or so. this is great fun, joining us now to talk more about the daed data we're getting out of the united states is david page. it's so good to see you in person. we want to talk about the trade deficit numbers coming out. we have a guest host saying this is perhaps going to lead us to a section recession. do you think that's a little extreme or are we not looking into these trade numbers enough? >> yeah. i think it's a little extreme. what we seem to be seeing is a generic trade in recovery. because of the billions of difference in the states, that's a like for like increase in both sees the deficit expand. that's what we're expecting to
turn around. we're penciling in a deficit for january. that's probably going to weigh on gdp in the first quarter. but it's unlikely to see a turn that will lead us back into a double dip. in fact, we think as we move into the second quarter, we should start to see net trade boosting again. consumer demand looks like it's going to be quite depressing. we're getting jobless claims out, as well. and he goes on to say the trade deficit is the single most important reason why the private sector has failed to add a single job since 1999. how much really -- and again, i'm harping on these trade numbers, but does that play into the jobless numbers we're expecting to see, as well? >> what we're seeing is exports leading to u.s. growth. if you look at the indices, the ism manufacturing survey is doing very well. that's lrnlgly because of the export contribution. if you look at the smaller companies, and certainly the nonmanufacturing ism survey,
that's much more depressed. dmeft domestic demand in the u.s. is quite reserved. because exports are so subdued, we're going to see consumption soften and imports pailing off. that's when you'll start to see the benefits. >> meanwhile, a weaker sterling has not been of any benefit at the moment. but the sterling index is down to an 11-month low. when will that kick in? >> that will be relatively soon. what we are seeing is export optimism. and if you think back to '92,
the last time we saw such a sharp devaluation in sterling, it took about three years before we saw a materialistic effect coming through on the trade balance, as well. so we will be looking for it coming through in the next few quarters of next year, as well. >> do you think the bank of england wants a weaker pound or are they benign? are they bothered about it on an inflation basis, or not? >> they're well aware that if sterling wants to fall back sharply, that would provide an up leg. but really, the mpc has not got a sterling target. it has an inflation target. so its assessment of sterling is only one that is derived, if you like, from its impact on inflation. so at the moment, we're not concerned about those trades now. >> hey, david. we have gdp coming in for the
fourth quarter to do less than expected. if so, what tools could they use with rates already so low? >> well, i think the second question is the more interesting one, isn't it? it looks like the boj is going to do something next week. we're starting to see some talk about this not being a done deal from the bank of japan and certainly a lot of pressure being put on ministry finance noda and the prime minister himself all keeping pressure on the bank of japan to do something. the question is what? the bank of japan seems to be ruling out quantitative easing. so we'll be looking at a host of minor measures. clearly, there is nothing they can do on rates. possibly even looking at extending its commercial paper operations. they're likely to be fairly second order and to our minds, they're not likely to add that much in terms of monetary stimulus, but it will make it look like the bank of japan is trying to commit to the inflation situation.
>> emil, it seems to me the problem is not just about how weak the economy is. do you think the boj could do something on the currency front? >> i think i have, together with other people in the market, given up trying to predict what the boj will do. >> but they did raise the borrowing limits some weeks back. >> that's true. but i think the politicians are extremely key for them to interact and increase the supply of money, really, in a very direct and quantitative sense. but whether or not they will go ahead and do it, i'm not sure. >> we'll have to leave it there for now. david page, that you can very much for your insights. good talking to you, as always. and emil wolter, our guest host, will continue to stay with us. let's head over to maura in beijing.
maura. >> reporter: hey there, christine. excessive bank lending as some critics say has been blamed for some of the problems china is facing including a housing bubble, asset prices stock rocketing in the last year, what has the government done and are those measures working to curb some of that lending? we'll talk about that after the break and what the government is doing to reign in executive compensation.
welcome back to "worldwide exchange." take a look at that beautiful sunset in beijing. i'm told it's really nice weather over in the city. we are told the national people's congress meeting has been there continuing. our very own maura fogarty is there. let's check in on the nikkei with asuka kondo. >> hi there, christine. tokyo stocks rebounded for thursday. as mr. david was discussing just a couple of minutes ago, the bank of japan will take further monetary easing steps at the
scheduled monetary easing meeting next tuesday and wednesday. shares in sony hit their 2009-on 2010 high in the second day of their rally. demand for the firm's flat panel tvs will expand. steelmakers came under selling pressure. the nikkei has reported that brazilian mining giant vale has proposed a hike in iron ore prices for japanese steelmakers for on fiscal 2010. feebly, the japanese economy grew slightly less than initially estimated in the october to december quarter. it's been revised to 0.9% instead of 1.1% as estimated
about a mow ago. that was the nikkei business report for today. back to you, christine. >> kondo-san, thank you very much for that. we had slightly weaker growth in japan, but strong growth apparently in china, ross. >> yeah, absolutely. and it's not just banks in the west, either. china is clamping down on fat cat pay, as well. maura is in beijing and joining us with the details on that. >> reporter: hey there, ross. good morning to you and good evening to those of you in asia and a very early morning to you in the u.s. right now. the meeting of the national people's congress for the day have ended. the officials have gone off to dinner and to talk over what they've been discussing during the day. but we had a string of data out today that confirmed that once again, china's economy is firmly on track -- on recovery, i should say. now, i want to mention the issue
of the financial sector and bank lending. that has been one issue that's been blamed for ervel things in the economy. for example, the bubble that we're seeing in the housing sector and the skyrocketing stock market price that we've seen in the last year, as well. what the government has done to try to reign back bank lending, the data today confirms that that indeed is working. new loans in the month of february were half of that in january. they only came in at roughly about $700 billion yuan. that's just over $1 billion u.s. dollars. the target of loans this year is expected to be $7.5 trillion yuan down from 9.6 trillion yuan back in 2009 -- to the global financial crisis. so on the one hand, we are seeing efforts by the government to cool down the economy at least on the banking price. don't forget, too, they get to raise the reserve requirement ratios in the first half of this year to try to get banks to lend
less. they want to make sure that the loans they are making go towards those intended purposes and not towards other things, like buying property or investing in the stock market. also, we've heard this week from officials, the regulatory banking officials here in china that they're joining the growing trend to cut back on combination at banks in china. what they're doing is making sure that banks have to keep 40% of their pay for about three years and on top of that, there is banker bonuses can only be a maximum of about 40% of three times of their base salary. solo banksers in china don't make as much as what a person in new york or london might make, they're serve curves on their bonuses, as well, to reduce risk taking in the sector. back to you. >> maura, thank you very much for that. we're catching up with you later. we had a few interruptions
there, but i think you'll understand when we have that long distance, these things happen. >> it's always exciting to get a live shot from bay jang. still with us is emil wolter. luca is now joining us, as well. luca, let me start with you. do you think china will start another rate rise or do you think they will come out with something else again? >> i think they will continue with their mix of measure. to interest rate reserve requirement ratio and exchange rate. on the exchange rate, i don't think there is anything to do. there are more and more rumors about forthcoming stop in the new peg of the -- with the u.s. dollar. i still don't see why china should leave this renewed pack.
i think that the argument is in favor of keeping this is still overwhelmingly greater than the arguments to lose. and interest rates and reserve requirements are likely to go higher. i think despite inflation, it's temporary. what we're seeing in china is -- >> but luca, isn't there a risk of inflation in the property sector? a lot of concerns that this could lead to a property bubble as a lot of people start to withdraw their savings and plow it into the property market. you don't see that as a risk? >> it's very, very difficult in china to control real estate with interest rate measures. this -- i mean, if you look at prices in beijing, in shanghai in the big cities, they're completely out of the possibilities of the average. so these are obviously buying
derived from investment from funds. so normally, these institutions don't take mortgages to buy apartments. so it's very, very difficult to use market measures to stop what is happening to real estate market everywhere in the world and even more so in china where average produces in city he are very high. >> interesting. emil, anything to add? >> i think interest rates aren't the key issue. i think availability of money is very important, though. if we look at what they did last year in terms of the increase in lend i lending growth, and also if you look at money supply as a percentage of gdp, it's at an incredible high in china. you don't think these issues will end up having an inflationary impact? >> no. i think that, i mean, what they did with the new floor or
ceiling on credit is going to work as it worked in 2006, probably a little less severe than in 2006 because the exchange rate is not moving. but i think most of those loans that were issued were just parked. the liquidity was parked in the stock market, in the real estate market and this will be slowly pulled out of the stock market and put at an investment. but i don't think there is a real excess money supply in china right now. >> nicole lapin in london today. what kind of effect does that have on the greenback? we're hearing a report coming out saying that the u.s. dollar is the most important currency. are we getting information from china, australia and other areas that say they are looking for alternative investments? >> no. this has been around for quite some time, that there is an alternative to the u.s. dollar.
in fact, there is not. what could be the alternative to the u.s. dollar? one is the euro and the euro has problems of its own and it's rather clear that notwithstanding the data that comes out of imf, which is by valuation problems, there has not been a significant change in the composition of central bank reserves profiting the euro. so the share of central bank reserves that is taking, remain basically the same. and now you add greek problems and the fiscal sustainability of the euro. maybe in the future the u.n. will play a significant role. but right now, the only currency is the u.s. dollar and we'll stick to it. let's see what's happening in the rest of the other markets here in asia.
a pretty big session, adam. >> very. and the greater china in a region is sinking their teeth into the data today. trading was very range bound in the shanghai composite, folks. investors are wondering, will they, won't they further monetary tightening in terms of inflation. analyst reaction to that was quite interesting. they said one-month trend in particular because of the distortions from the lunar new year holiday do not come out with a trend and they say wait until the march figure coming through. maura was talking about that growth figure and that was a positive sign in terms of not further monetary tightening. one of the analysts did point out that we had a shortened period in the month of february b so that the target was a little high for the government comfort level. we saw a fair amount of activity in shanghai pudong
developmentback there. the world's largest mobile carrier will be taking a 20% stake in the lender of about $5 billion and that helps to list them in the ocean on the shanghai composite. on the property price concerns, although they're down by volume, by actual value, they're up 70% over the last few months. so there's still property tocks there and with the exception of china banker. queer seeing movements transpire across the barriers. >> yeah. that should be better than the markets. we'll see who will do what? >> i'll have fun. >> definitely. now to india with ayesha faridi.
>> thanks for that, christine. a very lackluster trading session is what we're willing or the green. the two cases in point, which aren't the big disappointment in trade, the public/private offering, is open, as well. unilerer is another stock taking a huge beating because of one particular product. so almost a pricing war is what you're seeing for these two majors. the actual currency down about 4.5%, as well. meantime, some important news coming in. the national stock exchange has signed a memorandum of understanding with cme, that's chicago america tile exchange. >> that's interesting, ayesha.
what are the counters for the agreement between cme and nse? >> yeah, indeed. a whole lot of pointers here. so now what happens is that nifty futures will be traded on the cme, as well. the dow jones and the s&p 500 futures will be traded and the national stock exchange. so this is really sort of opening a new market in itself. you have nec, which is going to be launching other understand sis on the singapore nifty. and they have renewed their contract, as well, with nsg trading, so a lot of excitement is lined up to that. back to you, christine. >> the world is really getting smaller. emil, you said here in asia stick to telecoms because you life like dividends, but you also like the developed stock markets. >> i do. i think developed markets look by and large much better value and less risky for 2010.
i think the problems we have in the emerging world today is that not only are the valuations at a significant premium, but also they're very well held. if i look at ownership in global funds, in asia b the average global fund owned at 10%, which is a decade high. and indeed, if we look at the upcoming ply in emerging markets, it appears that majority owners, the insiders of these businesses are quite happy to sell shares at the current levels. so ipos in asia will be something like three times the amount of ipos that we get out of europe and the u.s. this year. >> emil, do you want to own western stock markets if you're in asia or is it because those stocks are a better value play on the growth that we have got out of emerging markets? >> the fact of the matter is,
you're going to get higher growth of markets. of course you are. my view is that in america, as the recovery is likely to be stronger and faster than the market is anticipating. believing in a strong dollar, anyway, lae caps, good predictability look good to me. the cheap way to do this is not in asia or japan, now, it is japan. >> good to know that. thank you very much for your time. thank for being with us. >> good still much more to come on "worldwide exchange." we're talking about a brawl. this is treasury secretary timothy geet ner. he is basically saab, eu, if you
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welcome to "worldwide exchange." the headlines making news today out of the united states, the dollar is still on the global stage, but s&p warns rising debt levels could pose risks to the currency crowd. >> meanwhile, in europe, bp bought $7 billion in assets for devon energy. >> and here in asia, consumer inflation hits a 16-month high sparking talks over currency tightening. >> great to have you with us here on "worldwide exchange." here in london for the day, it's 5:00 in the morning on wall street. it's a little later and more manageable for my sleep schedule here in london. let's take a closer look at how markets are likely to open across the pond. dow futures are basically flat. nasdaq futures are down slightly and s&p 500 futures are down slightly, as well. but narrowing over the last
hour, ross, as we ended. >> you didn't have the -- >> 2:00? that would be sleeping in for me. usually it's midnight. >> is it? >> yeah. >> have you managed to reschedule that? >> i'm just going to stay on london time when i go back. that's my plan. it's great to have nicole with us here in london. european stock markets, still at the levels we've been at most of this week. we had slim gains across the week. not much changed. we god upgs uply commodity stocks in today with good growth numbers out of china, christine. >> we do. and that is impacting sentiment across the region. in terms of the currency market, we are watching the yen closely. it is starting to weaken just a
little bit. that is helping out the exporters in japan. right now, dollar/yen, 90.51. euro/dollar, 1.3657. sterling, firmer against the dollar, as well. 1.5009. euro/sterling, 0.9099. nicole. >> very good, christine. and speaking of the dollar, the dollar is still the world's most important currency and will continue to dominate global forex transactions. that's not according to me. that's according to an s&p report just out. this report warns that the dependent on foreign creditors could threaten its aaa credit rating according to the s&p if the united states doesn't have a clear fiscal spending plan. so let's continue this conversation, if you don't mind. saved bloom is our guest for right now, global head of foreign exchange strategy. what do you think of that? we had a chief economist on in
the last hour. he says that the greenback is the only currency and we have to stick to that. would you agree or disagree? >> it wasn't the only currency. i did notice some others when we were doing foreign exchange at hsbc. perhaps they might have slipped him by. when you go around the world playing the world series, there are lots of other currencies. we have the euro, the renminbi, which is the up and coming currency. but what was interesting about that report is saying, well, the u.s. had a aaa rating is at threat and the uk is at threat and fans and spain and grooe r greece and, you know, everybody sat threat. >> it seems apocalyptic. >> well, you have no one to have a crisis against. this brings me to the point there will be no sterling crisis. >> david, i want to pick on the fact that you say the renminbi
is up and coming. that's really interesting. what are you implying? a one up appreciate or a gradual appreciation of the currency? >> it's a gradual transition. hopeful hopefully investors have no memories. and the 12 months previously they did something. inflation was a bit above target. that told us that they're going to go for an appreciation on a slow but sure basis. we've moved out of crisis mode as far as china is concerned and a slow appreciation of the renminbi is under way. >> so you're basically saying, look, the currencies is always a battle of the uglies. how can one currency have a battle to the crisis, is that wa you're saying? >> yeah, basically.
i have full respect for them. but currencies are a relative concept. >> so adam poston is on the monetary policy committee at the bank of america. do you agree with him? >> i think he agrees with me, actually. >> all right. no, this is a chap that lives in america and compares the u.s. with the uk. >> nicole was out in london, right? you got some dollars out. we were in two stores yesterday. we made our own wax hands. >> this is the treatment that i am getting in london. look at this. >> it's nice and smooth. >> you've got the results here. these are -- that's your hand, right? >> right. >> and that's my hand.
>>. >> we just have to show them together. >> my point is, what happens to sterling against the dollar from here? when nicole comes again in six months' time, is she going to have better value or worse value? >> i think she'll have better value. from 2.11 to 1.38, nobody said crisis. it's fallen from $250 something toed 1.40. give me a break. >> how much was that statue, 150,000 pound? >> yeah. the cheapest point now is the dollar purchaser. when we stop worrying about the
u.s. fiscal problems, that's less eyes on the states. >> show me those hands again. show me those hands again. >> like a little child. coming together, red, white and blue. >> very weird experience. >> very productive afternoon, i see. very productive afternoon. coming up next on "worldwide exchange," let's take a look at inflation. we've been talking about the 16-month in china, speculative is looking into weather the national people's congress continues to meet. ♪ well, look who's here. it's ellen. hey, mayor white. how you doing? great. come on in. would you like to see our new police department? yeah, all right. this way. and here it is. completely networked. so, anything happening, suz? she's all good.
markets are too optimistic according to some analysts. he says the markets are too optimistic and pound faces a bigger plunge. plus, the newest employee of nurul roubini says inflation is seen driving up the prices of u.s. stocks. chinese consumer inflation increased to a 16-month high. sooner rather than later, find out more about all those stories on cnbc.com.
prosecute. welcome back to "worldwide exchange" with nicole lapin. ross westgate is in london with me, christine tan. in the mainland economy, there were numbers pointing to strength. worries were raised about central gocht and when they would have to start tightening policy sooner rather than later. cpi rose by a higher than expected 2.7% in a year to february. beijing wants to limit inflation for the whole year, just 3%. factory output exceeded forecasts 20% in january and february from a year ago. six pure ban investments passed expectations of 20.6%, but it had slowed from a year earlier,
when china launch its $600 billion package. >> very good, christine. let's continue the conversation with david bloom. we were coming out of concern out of china. what is the most important data we're looking at from china today, do you think? >> well, it's the mix. we can see this is an economy moving and it's the beginning of a tightening cycle. a very deep problem, like we did in the west, except the differences coming out of it we know and they need to tighten policy and there will be tightening policy. there will be raising rates. some people think they could go tomorrow. they've been quite aggressive on the last two months. does that mean they're going to do it again tomorrow? they're going to rate rates and let the currency strengthen.
how gradual, though, is this going to be? is this going to be a gradual process? we'll start off with 0.5%, 1%, and have a gradual appreciation, which is what they said they want and it suits china now, so china will do that. >> that gradual appreciation, will that be, you know, how do you view the tensions at the moment? >> that's what -- i mean, you start going now, you move into midterm election in the u.s. in november which i think is going to become very, very important in the markets. by that stage, you may already go 2%, 3%, and a lot of the pressure is off china from a political side. and another thing that suits them politically to go now, so have a good day. >> david, this is christine here in asia. from a global perspective, if you're a global investor, when you see strong data coming out of china, you should be happier,
right? so one should think clearly rate tightening, you wouldn't want something too drastic. that seems to be the scenario we should be pricing in, right? >> it is. but i think what people are concerned about is last your's equity move and last year's bounce was a liquidity driven market. in other words, we have zero rates everywhere, bumping money, casting rates, everything. physical policy. now some of it is being taken back. so as you move into a tightening cycle, people get very, very nervous that it may be overdone. and that's why i think markets are quite jittery at the moment. normally what happens is you come out of an economic downturn and you haven't cut rates as radically as you've cut this time. you let it grow for 18 months, two years, and then you slowly tighten rates. this time, you have to tighten right at the beginning of the cycle and starting with zero with a massive fiscal boost. so i think the nerves are out there and the indians are doing the same in the sense of they've raised their reserve ratios.
brazil, we have an election coming up. they're going to raise rates. on the bric side, apart from russia, rates are going up. and the global tightening cycle is being led by the chinese, not the united states of america. this is a massive change in the whole scenario. >> david, we want you to continue to stay with us. very exciting there. >> christine was trying to chuck me off the show here in london. but thank you very much. >> come here to singh pore. i promise, i won't chuck you out of the studio. >> okay. let's talk more about the chinese economy. the economy is firing on all cylinders. the national people's congress hold its annual session. it's been happening for the entire week. let's cross live to beijing where maura fogarty has all the details. >> reporter: hey there, christine. one year ago at this time, the national people's congress has been talking about the economy.
this year, the focus is not so much revising the chinese economy, but keeping this recovery in the economy firmly on track. the data we had out today shows things are looking pretty good. the challenge for the government is how can they keep it that way? first of all, consumer inflation reached 16-month highs, rising about 2.7% for the month in february. industrial output rising more than expected by more than 2% in the month of if he will february, as well. separately, though, new loans for the month of february came in. that's just over 100 u.s. dollars and about half of what they were for the month of january. what that means is that measures imposed by the government so far to curb bank lending are beginnibegi beginning to show through. all this means is that beijing will gradually start to withdraw the stimulus that it pumped into the economy in 2009. while many are worried about the inflation picture, the deputy
prime minister says he thinkses they'll be closerer for this year. >> okay sxp other people in the west might be happy with that, as well, maura. thank you so much for your thoughts of you of beijing. ahead of the u.s. open, a little mixed once again today. we've perked things up slightly here in europe. we'll bring you up to speed with what is happening right now. anna is with us in london. anna, a number of results out again this morning. we've hit sort of 5,600. we haven't moved a lot further. >> we seem to have stalled a little bit, ross. but in today's session, seem to have messed with that price line. we have home retail, improvement, their numbers were pleasing to the markets and
stocks trading higher in the earlier part of the trading session. they've increased their guidance, as well. morrisons, a food retailer in the uk, pleasing the market with the top end of expectations. john lewis, a nonlisted company, operates in the retail space. they expect a more challenging condition in the markets in the second half of this year. so that could be something we'll be seeing in various retailers. bp, of course, from the big takeover stories, they're paying 7 billion u.s. dollars of assets over in brazil and the gulf of mexico and forming this oil sands joint venture with them. now to stephane pedrazzi in paris. >> the carmakers are leading the gainers now on the back of bmw and germany. peugeot citron is trading higher. renault, the second largest carmakers, is up 1.3%. but still, we have a big loser
to france. it's lagarde, povertying a 77% decline of its net profits for last year. the core business is down 29% on the full year. and the forecast for this year is a bit bloomy. the company is not expecting any recovery for the advertising market in 2010. and it's posting a decline of its operating profits for 2010. the stock is off nearly 7% right now. now over to adam in singapore. >> thank you very much, stephane. we had a mixed picture in the asian trading session here today. one of the top performers is the japanese equity market here. gdp the rose 0.9%, which came in lower than the initial reading of 1.1%, and also the deflator, which was the biggest drop in negative reading in record. the stock market managed to gain ground and it was weaker versus
the u.s. dollar and the euro. one of the top performers there today was sony riding on the wave of optimism that maybe the 3d tvs are going to sell like a new service on the mobile phone to be watching movies. i'm not sure who is going to do that because the screens are too small. but anyway, the banking stocks got a nice perk up today. so we saw gains across the board with the exception of shinsea, partly owned by jc flowers. apparently the deal to merge is not going to happen and they may to raise more capital. wile have to wait and see. on that note wibt was an okay session in the u.s. markets. back to nicole in london. are you enjoying london, nicole? >> indeed, i am. come up on "worldwide exchange," what would you do
welcome back to "worldwide exchange." i can't keep a straight face as i'm looking at my empty chair. >> where are you? >> i'm in london for the week. it's 5:30 in the morning. >> you're sitting in that chair. >> no, i'm not. i like sitting in the chair next to ross, what can i say? let's take a look at how the markets are doing. futures are basically flat across the board right now. dow futures are slightly down. nasdaq futures are flat. s&p 500 futures are flat, as well. we'll be checking in with that throughout the next half hour. let's continue the conversation, though, about the billionaires because that's really what ross wants to talk about. mexican tycoon carlos slim has overtaken bill gates and warren buffett thanks to holings in the itemly come sector. a spokesperson for mr. slim, yes, told cnbc we are not so
much focused on these numbers, although it is always nice to see that we are recognized as the mejor empresario del mundo. that translate to the best entrepreneur in the world. >> are you that? >> you say that about yourself sometimes, i know. >> i know. >> i suppose when you're the richest man in the world, you don't need any bit of humility. >> no, you definitely don't. but i think it's a real testament to the rise in emerging markets, the fact that he has become number one. this is the first time since 1994 that we've had a non-american at the top of the list. obviously, it's been dominated by the microsoft founder bill gates. but car loss slim, he made his money through the privatization of one of mexico's biggest phone companies and partly because of the rise in stock values last year, his wealth increased by more than bill gates or warren buffett's. most of our billionaires increased in value, but those
particularly for emerging markets like mexico, so slim benefiting make more. >> yeah. i lost money here in europe. talking about emerging markets, the biggest gainer, brazilian batista, he's up to number nine. where did he make his money from? >> he made his money in mining. his father was a minister for mining. but he insists he made the money himself. it's kind of a testament to the commodities boom, the fact that emerging markets are growing so strongly. so he went up from number 61 to number 9 on our list. it's a huge jump. >> yeah. let's head back into this thought, the emerging market currencies are going to all eventually appreciate. >> and the emerging market stories are where it's at. you've got the demographics, young people, it's growing. i think this idea that the is
growing, the whole demographics is starting to kick in. >> speaking from the west, speaking from a different generation, face dd book creator. >> he's the youngest on our list. the second youngest is a guy from japan, 35 years old. he made his money through mobile gaming applications and selling virtual clothing. >> virtual clothing? >> yeah. and he's made a lot of money from it, as well. >> you're a billionaire, aren't you, ross? >> in my own world, i am that virtual billionaire, christine. >> you are my billionaire, ross. you will always be my billionaire. for the first time, china has the most billionaires outside the u.s. asia has come on to that licht.
i'm beginning to think i'm doing something wrong here. what is it about this region that is creating all this wealth? >> you were just talking earlier about the inflation in china and the rapid growth there. if you look at stock markets generally, the shanghai composite index was up 110% last year. the united states s&p was up 24%. so that is why you're seeing this big growth in wealth. not just stock markets, but it's a combination of that plus the economic recovery, rapid growth, and that's produced more billionaires. so we have 27 new billionaires in china. if you look at britain, there was only four billionaires. so americans are still dominating the list. they take up all 20% of all billionaires. >> london as a city, the host of billionaires flipped to third place from second place last year. >> bernie olson, it's great to
have you with us. rob, this is for you. on cnbc.com, you can get more on this story. >> okay. >> you can be a virtual billionaire, as well, virtually. find out how the wealthiest people made their money and how to keep it on cnbc.com. there you go. stay with us for more on an interview with steve boris, 7:00 a.m. new york time on cnbc. >> you don't have to miss that. also still to come on the programs, timothy geithner is warning europe not to go ahead with a regulatory package for hedge funds. we'll have more after this.
more talk of policy tightening. >> great to have you with us. i'm in thnicole lapin. dow futures are down about 6 below fair value, nasdaq fairly flat and s&p 500 down about two points below value. it's in the narrow range, but still on the positive. >> it's been a pretty narrow range as far as european stocks are concerned this week. just nudged back this morning. that's the mark we hit on monday for the ftse and we haven't really hit off it. just slim gains higher on the year. retail is firmer. we have seen basically sources, technology all just weaker. we've been looking at all of the inflation data out of china. how does that play into the currency markets, christine?
>> we are watching, of course, what's happening with the dollar, as well. dollar/yen weaker against the yen. 90.43. it seems to be back up and down again. the euro, stronger against the dollar, 1.3659. nicole is in london right now, so sterling looks to be a little stronger against the dollar. so nicole, i think, you know, i don't know about your shopping, but that will be a setback. >> i'm contributing what i can where i can. look, we have not to continue the conversation out of lopped here. about your secretary timothy geithner warning is european commission that if you regulate hedge funds and private equity firms, that could create more tension. david, we want to bring you back into this conversation. we're talking about a potential transatlantic rift. and it's not between us this time. is that possible or is it just because we're not getting a lot of details? >> the problem with regulation
is you don't have global regulation, you have different things happening. different countries have different regulations and that moves financial markets in different parts of the world. if you do something in one part of the world, that would squeeze people into another part of the world. they're serious about creating an atmosphere, then it has to be global and i think that's really the idea that it is coming to, that if the europeans go it alone, it's just not going to work. >> in this case, london will be very much on the side of timothy geithner. london is a real base of private equity and edge funds within europe. >> we can't be sure. three or four years ago, i would say absolutely. today, one can't be sure. we have an election come up in the uk in three months time. you're not quite sure what the politicians will say.
we're not quite sure what the regulations are going to be. for us in the u.s., we're a little bit on hold. >> does it -- is regulatory arbitrage, is that going to become a fact, do you think? >> it always is. it always has been. why is the bond market in the uk in london so big on dollars? and that was because we didn't have a reserve ratio in the uk historically, and that brought all the money into the uk. and that brought the money here. so this was always happening in financial markets. it always would happen. why do you think these brain surgeons and these rocket scientists will end up working for financial markets? because they can't work there way through this regulatory system. so you need it to be global if you want it to work. >> let's turn our attention now to what's going on with the treasury markets. the treasury auction yesterday went fairly well. the 10-year note has been steady
here in asia, as well. the high yields offered long in the treasury curve like to yield maybe the 30-year. what i really want is the t note if we can bring that up to show you where it's standing. let's bring up subodh kumar. subodh, so far, these auctions in treasuries seem to go fairly well. why on earth would you want to buy a 30-year t note at these levels? >> i think it has to dediversification, myself. i believe rates at the long end will be going higher in the year. the inflation numbers we saw from china overnight is going to add to concerns that rates are going to move up worldwide. >> what sort of numbers are you looking for? >> if you look at inflation up
about 2%, it's been the normal level folks have been talking about. what is interesting is before this crisis, the trading range was between 350 and 50/50. and then we had, you know, obviously, the lehman failure, etcetera, etcetera. and i think we're working our way back towards that rate. >> what does normalization of yields do, david, for the dollar? >> i don't know what normalization means any more. since the crisis, what is normal? what is long-term growth? i think in the west b it's much lower. if you say 2% inflation, that's dreaming. is% trend is yield. easy pickings. i can't see this massive rise in yield inflation. inflation in emerging markets, i can't see inflation in the west. >> what do you do, subodh?
right now, are you looking at the valuations of stock markets against other assets like commodities or bonds? how do you split that? >> i think i'm holding on to some cash here because i think there will be opportunities that will come through later on in the year. in the immediate period here, what i'm looking at are two or three things. first of all, i wouldn't split hairs between 1.5% or 2% inflation. ite nol not good enough to call that difference. so i think yields move higher from where we are here. but if yields do move up and central banks tighten a little bit, i think the stocks that are going to do well, unlike last year, are going to be the quality stocks because you can't expect pe expense under that kind of scenario. so i am going for countries that have strong balance sheets and that's a wide range of stocks, not necessarily perfect.
>> subodh, christine here. give us some names you like. >> i don't talk individual names, but i'll give you some areas that i think look very attractive. i think that some of the leadership information technology companies look extremely good. there's lots of controversy about health care. but i think that some of the pharma companies worldwide are changing their business molds, so those are very attractive. and a more controversial area and it transitions commodities, as well, i think that the strong balance sheet, the good cash positions are going to hold the integrated energy stocks to very good positions here. >> subodh kumar, stay with us. david bloom is also staying with us. let's dig into that a little bit. but first on "worldwide exchange," if you're anxious to see the michael douglas return to the silver screen, you've got
watching for you from around the world. the fha says the has dropped too quickly. fha chief david stevens testifies today. he says unlike subprime lenders, fha requires borrowers to show that they can pay for their mortgages. the fha is vital to the housing market has 80% of its business is with first time home buyers who typically make smaller down payments. the pace of foreclosures may be slowing in the united states. the number of households facing foreclosures rose 6% in february from a year ago. it is the smallest annual increase in four years. high unemployment could trigger another wave of foreclosures later in the year. gordon gekko's return to
wall street is being delayed. 20th century fox is pushing back the release of oliver stone's wall street sequel to september. they're hoping that wall street's "money never sleeps" will be included in the film festival in may. michael douglas starred in the first movie. carrie mulligan will be on there, as well. >> when he comes out of prison, is he going to have learned the lesson? is there going to be a moral story? >> i don't know. we're going to have to wait. is he going to like the dollar? >> no. >> well, that will be interesting. originally, he was supposed to be a horrible character, but everybody loved him, right? >> absolutely. >> there we go. we'll have to see what happens.
bp, meanwhile, has reached 7 billion of assets owned.. the assets include fields in the gulf of mexico and off the shores. it includes assets off the coast of brazil and at the same time, bp and devon are going to form a joint venture in canada. talking about other debts, as well, dubai world creditors have rejected the idea of shaving off some of the $22 billion that they have loaned the conglomerate. discussions have extended to the maturity of the existing debt. at the same time, dubai world is going to keep on paying interest, which i guess is good news. >> ross, consumer inflation, which spiked to a 16-month high in february, raised worries that
the central government would have to start heightening policies sooner rather than later. cpi rise by 2.7% a year in february. factory output exceeded forecasts from january and february from a year ago. it had slowed from a year earlier when china launched its nearly $600 billion stimulus package. ross. >> and a final word from david, as well. david, quickly, ssnb, swiss national bank decision today. most people thought the franc was going to weaken, but it appears that has been wrong. >> yeah. we were wrong, as well. it's gone down to 146 and it's holding there, which is a crucial level. it broke the 150, went to 1.46
and now we've got the meeting today, where they'll probably have to raise the growth target, they'll have to raise inflation targets and how are they going to intervene? so i think most people think the euro/franc could break 1.46 today. >> amart from having to change your standing on the swiss franc, what are you buying? >> a trade that sells geographical, it's an asian currency, it's not a g-10 currency any more. t free-floating. so i wouldn't see the chinese tightening. i think the aussie has gone to parity. >> there you go. you heard it here. david, thanks for that.
>> thank you very much. >> and despite the fact that he likes the dollar, he's already all right, isn't he? >> we'll keep him around. coming up next, jobless claims and trade data are a few things investors can be looking at. we will preview those numbers and a closer look at the u.s. day of trading. stay with us on "worldwide exchange."
u.s. "squawk box" comes up in a couple of minutes. joe kernen jones us live. joe, i'm trying to get away from you. >> yeah. the perks of this job. so you come here, you're here for a week, and now you're, like, traveling the globe. are you going to go to sudan and do dollars in danger? no, that's already been taken. how are you doing, ross? >> joe, all we need is you here, as well, and then we would be complete. >> you know, we're going to plan that, ross. it's going to be the whole family, though, so i hope you have enough room.
>> we could fill it out. >> joe, we talk about this all the time. it's about giving you a good ledin. i'm doing what i can. numbers are up, curling, 800%. >> the shaq has been delivering the last couple of days, nicole, big time. anyway, we have a theme today, it's not just for squawk, it's for the entire network. we're talking about a nationwide credit crunch putting up a road block for an economic recovery. so is this the time, though, to go long on america? we have a lineup of guests, including california's economic chief chief, david crane, and mr. new york state control he, thomas denapole. betting on america's future, a perfect topic for steve forbes. he's always ready to go long on america and to sound off on what is happening in washington.
carlos slim has passed warren buffett and bill gates for the richest billionaire. we're going to have some other facts that you may not know about the world's super rich. all that plus taxpayer crusader elizabeth warren, not warren buffett, this is elizabeth warren will tells how she's trying to get our t.a.r.p. money back. "squawk box" will begin right at the top of the hour. is it true, nicole, is it a totally different time over there where you are right now? what time is it? >> you're so jealous. you're jealous because it's 10:52 in the afternoon. i do miss you, joe, regardless of some of the jabs that you're taking. i'll miss you, my friend. i'll be back. bring it on. >> you'll be back. we'll see you. and i'm going to come over there, ross. >> you're saying joe is better
when you've got distance, is that wa you're saying, nicole? >> it makes our relationship stronger, i think. very good. joe, see you soon. >> hard to imagine. >> it can't get much better, really. u.s. investors look ahead to a few economic data points this week. jobless claims are out at 8:30 eastern time. at 8:30, january trade deficit numbers are released. let's bring back in subodh kumar, chief investment strategist, and subodh, looking ahead to that key data, we're nearing the high on the s&p, the january 19th high of 1150. do you think that that is attainable? what are you looking at in terms of technicals? >> i think the whole issue of debt, what are countries and companies going to pay for debt,
does the fed get rid of the phrase extended ease next week or not, all of these things, i think, keep the market flattish and the jobless numbers, if we don't see clear signs of job creation, not less joblessness, i think the markets will be looking at how fast we'll see recovery. so i myself see more headwinds right now. >> so there's no magic number, essentially, subodh? >> no, there is not. >> all right. subodh kumar, we appreciate your time, sir. thanks so much for being with us. let's take a quick look at how u.s. futures are faring right now. down slightly below fair value. s&p futures are down about 2 below fair value and so are nasdaq futures. ross, thank you so much for sharing this space with me. >> there you go.